Learn about new Co-op over a brew tonight | Buzz Blog

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Learn about new Co-op over a brew tonight

Posted By on November 9, 2011, 3:12 PM

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The Wasatch Cooperative Market will be hosting a fall celebration tonight, which will serve as an introduction for many to the member-owned grocer.---

Members of the community can come to the free event Squatters Pub (147 W. 300 South) from 6:30-9:30 p.m. to enjoy small plates donated by Tin Angel Cafe and Happy Monkey Hummus. There will be a cash bar and a raffle. Folks can also learn more about the co-op.

Two and a half years after the board of directors developed the future vision, the co-op is still in the beginning stages of planning, which Alison Einerson, member of the board, says is normal. There are roughly 500 co-ops currently in development across the country and most will land in a brick-and-morter establishment anywhere between year three and five, she says.

“Our big issue is an education deficit. There’s never been a co-op in Salt Lake City—there was one in Moab, but it is now privately owned. This co-op is not the Utah Co-op and it is not the Community Food Co-op of Utah,“ Einerson says, adding that it will be a member-owned grocery store like many other cities nation-wide have.

“What we are doing is creating a health-food store that benefits its members. You have a voice on what happens and you get a dividend at the end of the year,” Einerson says. “We’re one of the only states left in the country that doesn’t have one, and there are even some states that have dozens.”

The Wasatch Co-op currently has about 100 member-owners and will need more than 500 to get things off the ground, Einerson says. It is $300 to purchase a member-owner share; this fee is one-time only with other, smaller annual dues. Einerson says the co-op’s next step is to do a feasibility study to figure out real estate options; they are hoping to settle in in downtown Salt Lake City.

For more information, visit Wasatch Co-op’s website.

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